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Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration

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Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel

This Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration is the first encyclopaedia which combines two so far not well interconnected interdisciplinary research fields, i.e. Border Studies and European Studies. Organised in an alphabetical order, it contains 207 articles written by 115 authors from different countries and scientific disciplines which are accompanied by 58 maps. The articles deal with theory, terminology, concepts, actors, themes and spaces of neighbourhood relations at European borders and in borderlands of and around the European Union (EU). Taking into account a multi-scale perspective from the local to the global, the Critical Dictionary follows a combined historical-geographical approach and is co-directed by Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel, with a large contribution of Jean Peyrony and Jean Rubio from the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalère (MOT), especially for the cartography. The Dictionary is also part of four Jean Monnet activities supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for the period 2016-2022: two Jean Monnet projects on EU border regions (University Strasbourg), one Jean Monnet network (Frontem) and the Franco-German Jean Monnet excellence Center in Strasbourg, as well as the Jean Monnet Chair of Bernard Reitel on borders and European integration. Rather than being designed as an objective compilation of facts and figures, it should serve as a critical tool for discussion between researchers, students and practitioners working in the field of borders, cross-border cooperation and European Integration.

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Euroregion Ipel’- Ipoly

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The Ipel’- Ipoly Euroregion was founded in 1999 by the mayors of Balassagyarmat in Hungary and Šahy in Slovakia, including four further municipalities and six civil society organizations from Šahy, where the secretariat was established. The geographic scope of the cooperation covers the wider area of the river Ipoly’s middle section, targeting all together 232 settlements and nearly 210 000 inhabitants. The Hungarian language is commonly used on both side of the border. On the basis of 2011 census, Hungarian was identified by 63 % of the population as their mother tongue, while 32 % of the population identified Slovak. Subsequently, the Hungarian population and language have a high influence.

The objective of the Euroregion is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the river valley and to improve the status of the environment by supporting sustainable use of natural resources and preserving traditional culture. Concerning the organisational structure, the Euroregion holds a dual framework. Two organisations, Ipoly Unió in Hungary and Ipeľská únia in Slovakia had been registered with legal personalities in the two countries signing an agreement on joint operation. The General Assembly is the main deliberative and policy-making body of the Euroregion. Its mandate lasts for four years, electing a 12-member board of directors, six members of which are municipal and Non-Governmental Organizations (ONGs) representatives.

Projects of the Euroregion include the reconstruction of the bridges over the river Ipoly/Ipeľ. Two bridges have been built so far and a third...

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